Connect with us
Advertisement

Botswana reaffirms ICC support

DR. ATHALIAH MOLOKOMME

 

Botswana once again reaffirms her commitment to contributing to one of the most indispensable causes of human life – the attainment of justice for victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

Our determination to honour our obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is strong. In this regard a bill domesticating the Rome Statute of the ICC has been tabled before Parliament.  It has gone through the First Reading and is now on the agenda for the November 2016 session.

 

The creation of the ICC marked a milestone in the enhancement of International Criminal Jurisprudence and strengthening of the international rule of law.  We want it to work effectively. The domestication of the Rome Statue of the ICC will contribute in no small measure to the realization of this shared objective.

 

In October last year, Botswana had the honour to host the Regional High Level Seminar on Fostering Cooperation with the Court. The objective of this seminar was to stimulate discussions and improve mutual understanding on cooperation between the Court and States Parties on matters of national capacity building, witness protection and international cooperation.

 

The Seminar provided States Parties in the Region with an opportunity to share best practices, experiences and knowledge from our different jurisdictions on the implementation of the Rome Statute.

 

The quest for justice is a collective calling for all. We must join hands in this frontier for justice and give hope to the millions of the voiceless women, men and children who look up to us. Victims of crimes against humanity and genocide, including in situations where the State is the perpetrator, have as much a right to justice as any other person.

 

Botswana's commitment to the core principles of the ICC is to cooperate with the international community, to enable the Court to function effectively and sustainably, as it seeks to bring lasting peace to the world. The President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Lt. General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama underscored this conviction at the opening of the Plenary of the 10th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

 

We strongly believe that even in the face of challenges, the ICC is the only hope for the countless victims crying out for justice.  Justice is indivisible.  We must tirelessly work to ensure that all victims of the most serious crimes have access to justice.

 

With its increased judicial workload and currently exercising jurisdiction over 10 situations and 10 ongoing preliminary investigations, the ICC clearly needs the support and cooperation of the international community if it is to build on the new development agenda. We therefore welcome and support efforts by the President of the Court to carry out reforms within the institution in order to enhance its efficient financial operations.

 

Mr. President, Botswana has always maintained that the ICC like any other organization is not perfect. The Rome Statute is a human project.  It will continue to evolve, grow, gain experience, respond to new challenges and hopefully live up to the expectations of many across the world.  It exists to serve humanity and that is why we must endeavour to make it universal.

 

We are alive to the strong winds of discontent and discomfort especially from our own continent, that the ICC appears to be targeting African leaders and Africans. There are proposals from some of our sister States Parties for the ASP to urgently consider certain provisions of the organization's rules and procedures and to address their concerns.

 

We believe that where there are legitimate concerns and expectations, it is the responsibility of this Assembly, and no one else, to engage in dialogue, within a spirit of mutual respect and due consideration, to iron out differences. Conscious of the need to maintain the integrity, fairness and democratic nature of multilateralism, Botswana stands ready to engage and reach out to fellow States Parties to find lasting solutions to the challenges faced by this body.

 

It is commendable that the African continent continues to help shape the new world order through active engagement and complementarity efforts to call for accountability of those who perpetrate injustice.

 

In this respect, we salute the African Union Extra Ordinary Chamber for pioneering the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction through its recent trial of former Chadian leader, Hissene Habre. We congratulate you President Kaba, the Government and the people of Senegal, for the exemplary leadership, courage and determination to close the impunity gap.

 

I wish at this very moment to recognize and convey my word of appreciation to citizens of the world as represented by members of civil society who continue to contribute to shape, promote and sustain the ICC.

 

It is these ordinary individuals – irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, colour or creed who nurture the promise of a strong International Criminal Court. Without them, without their unwavering support and without their outreach in every corner of the globe, we would not be complete in the pursuit of what we stand for.

 

As we mark 15 years since the Rome Statute was enacted, the ICC continues to face trials and triumphs in its quest for sustainable peace, justice and a world free from impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern. In this respect, we welcome the report of the President of the Court, H.E. Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, on the activities of the court for the period from 1 August 2015 to 31 July 2016.

 

With the continuing mass atrocities taking place across the world, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating humanitarian and political situations in Yemen, Syria, The West Bank and in some parts of Africa. Eighteen years ago, nations of the world, reeling from the wounds of the bitter and brutal past, tired of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity decided to come together and establish the International Criminal Court.

 

With complementarity to national jurisdictions as its hallmark, the ICC resolved to put an end to impunity for all perpetrators of such crimes irrespective of status, power, influence or rank in society. And while the world is still replete with mass atrocities and grave crimes that continue to shake the conscience of humanity, nations, big and small, can still draw inspiration and solace from knowing that never, never and never again shall the world be ruled by tyrants, dictators and criminals alike.

 

Mr. President, progress should be made regarding the Crime of Aggression. The struggle against impunity in all its forms and manifestations must continue. Having the requisite threshold of more than 30 ratifications, we look forward to seeing the activation of the ICC's jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression next year.

 

In this respect, we commend all those States Parties who, following the 2010 Kampala Amendments, finalized their internal processes to ratify the Amendments on this very serious crime. We ratified these amendments as Botswana believes that in order to honour the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, the international community must give practical meaning to its abhorrence of the illegal use of force, by enacting the Crime of Aggression as a matter of urgency.

 

The activation of the ICC's jurisdiction over the crime of aggression is a milestone in the international community's resolve to frown upon those crimes that offend humankind, human dignity and human rights. We remain confident that more and more States Parties will continue to enrich the Rome Statute by ratifying the Kampala Amendments. We wish to assure this Assembly that we remain a staunch member of the Rome Statute and pledge our unwavering support to, and cooperation with the ICC.

 

As always, the Botswana delegation looks forward to the rich and constructive debates that characterise our Annual Assembly, and I thank you for your attention.

 

STATEMENT BY DR. ATHALIAH MOLOKOMME ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA AT THE 15TH SESSION OF THE ASSEMBLY OF STATES PARTIES TO THE ROME STATUTE OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS, 16TH NOVEMBER 2016

Continue Reading

Columns

Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

 

Continue Reading

Columns

Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

 

Continue Reading

Columns

‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!